Doctors correct hearing loss in 64-year-old patient

By Wole Oyebade    |   03 September 2015   |   2:37 am  
Lagos State Teaching Hospital, LASUTH. Image sourcenursingworldnigeria

Lagos State Teaching Hospital, LASUTH. Image sourcenursingworldnigeria

LAGOS State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has recorded another medical milestone, as the doctors at the Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) department carried out a successful cochlear implantation on a patient.

The surgical exercise, which corrected total deafness in a 64-year-old patient, was the second of such exercises carried out by indigenous doctors in the hospital and in Nigeria as a whole.

The rather expensive exercise, according to LASUTH management, was made possible by a grant recently approved by governor Akinwunmi Ambode for at least 10 patients in need of the surgery. Each operation is to the tune of about N6.5 million.

It was gather that the male beneficiary, with names undisclosed, had severe to profound hearing loss, and already deaf beyond any respite from a hearing aid.

Director of Clinical Services in LASUTH, Dr. Adedokun Ayoade, after the cochlear implantation exercise, confirmed that the surgery was a huge success, even as the patient had been transferred to the treatment session to recuperate.

An elated Ayoade said the feat dated back to the administration of Bola Tinubu, who transformed the then old general hospital into a tertiary facility (LASUTH) and that of his successor, Babatunde Fashola’s administration that brought a team of specialists from the Diaspora, to strengthen capacity at home, coupled with the training of local specialists overseas.

It would be recalled that the first cochlear implant in LASUTH was conducted by a team of foreign experts from Cochlear Foundation, University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2014. The first by indigenous doctors was done early this year on a young chap and a doctor, who had gone deaf in the line of duty.

With a successful repeat of the exercise, Ayoade said: “LASUTH has shown that we now have the capacity and knowledge to prevent our citizens from going abroad for this type of surgery.”

Cochlear is a sophisticated hearing device that is implanted into a deaf patient’s ear through surgery. The device converts sounds into impulses, which enables the patients to hear and understand. Cochlear is often suitable where a patient is found to be severely or permanently deaf, especially those that are born with the problem.

Ayoade said the state government deserves commendation for providing the funds to support an upwards of 10 patients in need of cochlear but not able to pay the huge cost.

Head of the ENT department, Dr. Vincent Adekoya, who was a member of the team, said the surgery has come to stay, particularly for deaf Nigerians that have not derived joy from hearing aids.

An estimate has it that no fewer than 2.8 per cent of Nigerians are either partially or completely deaf.

Adekoya explained that hearing loss (deafness) could be as a result of congenital (birth) problems or after births, like infections, which include meningitis, measles, among others, that can cause permanent deafness. Other causes are abuse of drugs, ear trauma like exposure to noise that is more than 90 decibels, all of which destroy the hear cells.



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